West Bromwich Baptist Church
Serving the community through the Tantany Lunch Club
Over the last couple of years West Bromwich Baptist Church (WBBC) have been more intentionally trying to reach out to our community, to show God’s love in word and action. The idea of a Lunch Club grew from this desire; it enables us as a church to offer friendship to the lonely, a meal to the hungry and the love of Jesus to everyone we get through the door.
After months of prayer and planning we decided as a church to go ahead with this outreach venture, but obviously, like any new activity, we were aware there would be some start-up costs involved. The kitchen needed updating to reach health and safety standards, as well as some training for the catering volunteers and the correct equipment. We needed some new utensils, tables and even pots and pans.
As a church we sought some support from a Home Mission grant and soon after applying we gratefully received the money in order to get the Lunch Club going.
Now it was time for members from the church to step up to the plate and support this venture by volunteering each week to help. We have a great team of about 12 people, led by Sarah Thomas who is our Church Secretary and a professional caterer by trade. The team get stuck in with cooking, washing up and serving the meals.
As well as reaching out to the community through serving in this way and the opportunities for conversation that arise, we have seen personal relationships between the volunteers grow too and this has been a blessing to work alongside our Christian brothers and sisters. The food is top notch and many of our attenders give compliments to the chef.
We chose the name Tantany Lunch Club because Tantany is the name of the estate WBBC is based on. We advertised by sending out leaflets and posters around the local streets. The best form of advertising is also by word of mouth, but we’re aware it can take a long time to grow and we need to be patient. Since starting up in September we have seen various visitors come through the door, there are some who attend every week and some who are less regular. We are aware that the more we reach out to the local estate, the more it raises the profile of the church and this can only be a good thing.
At Christmas we did a special three course Christmas Dinner and over 40 people attended. This gave us opportunity to sing some carols and to pray a Christmas Blessing upon each person who came along. We also saw some of these people attend our Christmas Carol Service a few days later.
We are praying that in the future we will see the luncheon club expand more. It provides opportunity to share a relevant gospel message from time to time, but also a weekly chance to speak and develop relationships with local people from the community. I am sure that these friendships give powerful witness to the message of Christ and it is our heart’s desire to share this more and more through our eating and spending time together.
It would not have been possible to start Tantany Lunch Club and to run it so well without the support of the Home Mission Grant which we thankfully received. We pray that the lunch club will continue to succeed in the mission to bring God’s Kingdom into the lives of our local estate. We are appreciative of Home Mission for helping us with this opportunity.
West Bromwich Baptist Church
For Sarah Thomas and her team as they cook and serve meals, and wash up afterwards
For deepening relationships with those who come to the Lunch Club, and other local local people from the comunity
That those who come to the Lunch Club will be open to the gospel message being shared
Click here for a printable Fact File about West Bromwich Baptist Church to share with your church.
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